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I have this torrent file on the desktop that has zero file size and is not being used by anything, yet I cant delete the icon or file from the desktop. Every time I try to delete it I get an error saying

"could not find this item this is no longer located in C:\...\Desktop. Verify the item's location and try again."

I have tried writing a program to write a file to desktop under the same filename with a file attached to it. When I do that, I can delete the file, but only temporarily as when I refresh the desktop, it will reappear.

I've also tried using Unlocker, which worked for me in the past when I had a 32-bit OS, but since i have a 64-bit OS now it doesn't work any more.

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I smell a virus. – Robert Harvey Dec 31 '09 at 21:04
is it still there after a restart? Also is your torrent app closed entirely? it could be causing this. – tvanover Dec 31 '09 at 21:05
not everything bad that happens on a PC is caused by a virus. – Phoshi Dec 31 '09 at 21:10
@Robert: No, no viruses, of that i am absolutely certain. @tvanover: yes, its still there even after restarts. The torrent apps are closed, i am certain nothing is using the file. – WontGoAway Dec 31 '09 at 21:10
This is actually a very common occurrence. The only twist i have to this is that since I'm using a 64-bit OS, Unlocker no longer fixes the problem because it is only a 32-bit application and for some reason isn't totally compatable with the 64-bit OS (why? i don't know). – WontGoAway Dec 31 '09 at 21:13

7 Answers 7

up vote 3 down vote accepted

As a replacement of unlocker on 64-bit windows/windows 7, you could use LockHunter.

But If it's a corrupted filename: try Delete Doctor (freeware) or delinvfiles (shareware, but have more features) to delete the file with its short or UNC name

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Looks like it was the result of a corrupted filename. Delinvfiles seems to have worked (although its GUI is rather dated though, oh well) – WontGoAway Jan 1 '10 at 19:22

"could not find this item. this is no longer located in C:...\Desktop. Verify the item's location and try again."

This error is usually realted to a file name or path exceeding the maximum length, use rename and shorten the name.

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Ill give it a try, ill let you know what happens. – WontGoAway Jan 1 '10 at 0:11

Does it exist under C:(Users if you're on Vista\7, Documents and Settings if you're on XP)\Public(My if you're on XP) Desktop\?

Under Vista, this had the annoying side effect of creating an un-deletable icon, XP may have handled it differently.

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Yes, under my previous OS, the damned Vista, i had this problem on 3 separate occasions. Each time i was able to use a program called "Unlocker" to remove it without any problems. For some reason, i suspect the change the a 64 bit OS with "unlocker" being compiled in 32-bit, the program no longer works, even in compatibility mode. – WontGoAway Dec 31 '09 at 21:20
64bit WHAT? And you're correct about unlocker not working in 64bit, unfortunately. You could try booting in safe mode and deleting, which will do 99% of what unlocker did, it's just more of a hassle. – Phoshi Dec 31 '09 at 21:25

Try this. Go to Command Prompt and using CD Command get the desktop folder. Suppose that the file you want to delete is named 2009-0000001-whatever, write DEL 2009*.*. Be sure that no file is named with the same you put before the *, just the file you want to delete. Enter, and that's all. Best Regards.

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That worked for me! finally deleted the damn folder that has been on my desktop for two months. Had to delete the file inside it using cmd, then was able to delete the whole folder using Explorer. – ANaimi May 9 '10 at 5:27

Consider running a rootkit detector like F-Secure Blacklight or Rootkit Revealer. There might be something nefarious going on there.

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Before you try anything complicated, have you tried clicking on any icon then pressing F5?

Sometimes Windows Vista and Windows 7 for some reason do not update the desktop or folders, but pressing refresh works and shows everything.

Also, maybe just try a restart - something may have an open handle to it and if it exists, you can do a delete after a restart.

Again, it may be something more complicated, but this is worth a try first!

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Actually, iv went as far as writing a program in c++ to force the computer to overwrite the file on the desktop with a valid file with an actual file length. I've successfully deleted that (along with the icon) but when i refresh the desktop, it reappears. As for as anything simple, i've tried that more or less heh – WontGoAway Dec 31 '09 at 21:18
check your desktop.ini (and possibly delete it) is there anything weird in that? :S – William Hilsum Dec 31 '09 at 21:24

Try using Process Explorer to see if something is using the file.

Open Process Explorer, select Find Handle or DLL... under the Find menu, type the file name and click Search

It's not as fast as Unlocker but it should tell you which process is using that file.

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